Checking your move on turn-based Go servers

    Keywords: Online Go

A bad habit on (dragon go server)[1], due to the move-making procedure. You make your move, and it appears on the board ... but then you must click on "submit" to finalize the move. This can lead to the habit of looking at the position with the move already played - and maybe changing your mind. It's a bad habit because it encourages the player to rely on a particular visual presentation that he can't get in any other game. No other go-playing environment that I know of enables this. At first I found it hard to resist this habit. Eventually I trained myself to pick my move, click the board, and click submit without looking.

axd: There are more such environments: the ghost cursor of KGS is another example.

jfc: Is a professor a bad teacher if she gives open book and open notes tests? How about take home tests?

Edu: No. In real life you can check things from a book when you need them (and the real challenge is to apply them to current problem). In a go game played on a real board you can't place stones and then change their position so you shouldn't do that on go server either.

Is it bad to play out variations on a board when analyzing a game? Should you instead play only main line moves and use your imagination to consider alternate lines of play? Perhaps the board should be done away with all together and you should simply play over entire game records in your mind. (see also Use Of SGF Editors And Computer Go Programs During Games)

Consider the fact that no other go playing environment allows you to consider each move for several days at a time.

Consider the other extreme: playing a blitz game with a limit of 5 seconds a move. Is playing very fast games a bad habit? Why or why not?

What is your criteria for judging a habit good or bad? I'm guessing that bad habit implies that said habit will detract from a player's improving their skill at the game.

The best approach to learning a subject depends on many factors. Some players dislike reading books as a way of improving. For these players playing (DGS)[1] games can provide direction and motivation for concentrated study.

If steering clear of the play by mail tradition of extensively analyzing variations before submitting the next move gives you pleasure then great! Will the approach make all players who take it advance their Go skill more quickly? Of this I am more skeptical.

zinger: Hmmm, perhaps you are right, I had not thought of the play-by-mail analogy. I don't really know the prevailing ethics at (dragon)[1]. Is it assumed that players are using any resources besides other players - such as joseki dictionaries, SGF editors for playing out variations, etc? If so, then I guess looking at the move on the board doesn't matter. However, I prefer to use no books, and to read without placing stones. Maybe it's just me :)

Still though, I think that playing out variations (which includes looking at your move on the board) makes a player weaker in live games, or at least inhibits him getting stronger, because it discourages real reading. So in that sense, I consider it a bad habit.

Bildstein: Here's how I guage the general consensus on Dragon. Artificial aids are generally accepted, but not universally condoned. Getting help from stronger players is considered cheating, but whether you're cheating yourself or your opponent is a moot point. And I'm not sure that there's agreement on whether or not it's okay to consult computer programs, but everyone seems to agree that there's no point, and of course this is only really an issue for the double-digit kyus.

Also, my two cents worth: I use SGF editors, etc., in my games on (Dragon)[1], but still I think (Dragon)[1] has helped me improve my reading skills. I can't say how. Perhaps it's because after I decide on my move, I read it out again on-screen to convince myself, before I submit my move.

Carcer: I have been playing on dragon go server for about 2 years now... For me personally I think it creates bad habits of placing a move and clicking to the next game so fast because I run between 30-60 games a time. I do however notice I can remember a particular game from move to move over the course of a month. On tricky parts I do open an SGF editor though not very often I like to read it out in my head.

[1]: axd: this is not specific to Dragon Go Server (DGS), but applies to all turn based go servers: that's why references to DGS or Dragon have been put in ().

Checking your move on turn-based Go servers last edited by on April 27, 2007 - 20:12
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